“Colonel John Leader is, above all things, modest, for he insists on saying, when asked about his life, ‘My hideous past?’ Why nothing exciting ever happened to me.” Passing over the fact that he has seen service with all the allies but one, has been an interpreter of Japanese, Chinese and German, Colonel Leader said, “I guess the thing I was most proud of was winning my ‘blues’ at college.” Blues are what Americans call letters meaning that Colonel Leader was a “letter man” at his school. He won letters in mostly everything. He was captain of the hockey, polo, soccer and lawn tennis teams.”
John Leader was born in Quetta, a high-altitude city in modern-day Pakistan, to Irish parents in 1877. He was born into a long line of military men; his father, Surgeon-Major John Leader, was a colonel who enjoyed a distinguished career in the British military service. He left India when a small boy, and journeyed to his family home in Ireland. The Leaders have an old moated hall at Keale in Cork, where the last fourteen John Leaders have lived. The old family name was Temple until the time of the Battle of Boynewater, when John Temple from Keale took such an important part in the conflict that King William renamed him Leader, and Leaders they have remained. Although born in India, Colonel Leader is thoroughly Irish, and has all the Irish humor of his ancestors. [read more …] “Colonel John Leader of Keale House”
Lieutenant Colonel William MacCarthy O’Leary – the third son of Mr. John MacCarthy O’Leary, D.L. of Coomlagne, Millstreet, County Cork and Jane daughter of John O’Connell of Greenagh ( and widow of O’Donoghue of the Glens ) was born on the 6th January, 1849. Educated at Stoneyhurst College, Lancashire, he joined the 82nd Regiment, Prince of Wales Volunteers (now the 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment), as an ensign in April, 1869, and became Captain in March, 1878, having previously filled the post of Musketry Instructor to the battalion for four years. In January, 1883, Captain MacCarthy O’Leary was appointed Adjutant to the 9th Lancashire Volunteers at Warrington, and with them he served five years, with advantage to the corps and great credit to himself, being equally respected by both officers and men. He was a thorough disciplinarian. He was appointed Major in August 1888, at the expiration of his term as Adjutant, and he was posted to the 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment (the old 40th), then at Portsmouth, and with them he served in Jersey, and at several stations in Ireland. In November, 1888, he was appointed to the command of the battalion, and in autumn of 1898 he took his corps to the manoeuvres at Salisbury Plain, where he was highly complimented on the efficiency and smart appearance of his men, and upon the skilful manner in which he handled them.
Thence the 1st South Lancashire moved to Preston, where they became distinguished by their prowess on the football field, and in [read more …] “Lieutenant-Colonel William MacCarthy O’Leary, Coomlogane House”